The USA map is, as its name implies, a map covering America (only the lower 48 States are represented, Alaska, Hawaii and the overseas territories are not represented in the map). The map has 42 regions with 6 bonus zones. This provides a good sized map for 2-6 player games.
The USA map is a simple, conservative and classic-style Conquer Club map. It was released in January 2006 together with the Classic map -
was the first game played on this map. The map relies primarily on region count advantage and zone bonuses to provide an edge in each game. Consequently, being a simple, old school map – what works on Classic generally works on the USA map.
The USA map’s 6 bonus zones also has been the inspiration for the “USA map pack”, a spin-off project consisting of six individual maps (each map covering one of the USA map’s bonus zones) released in 2009.
Size: Medium (42 regions)
Bonuses: Balanced Complexity: Easy Features None - This is an old school map How to play USA
show: Two Player
In a 2 player game, each player starts with 14 regions (i.e. leaving 14 neutral regions). Irrespective of the spoils type, an early possession of the New England and/or West bonus zones (each +2 troop bonus) or an early region count advantage (one player holding 17 or more regions with the other player holding 11 or less regions) may be decisive for the outcome of the game. Preventing the opponent from getting a region count advantage and/or holding any of the more easily defended bonus zones should be an overarching priority.
The most easily defended bonus zones are New England and the West (both with a +2 troop bonus). New England is preferably held by using Ohio as a defense point while the West is preferably held by using Idaho and Nevada as defense points. Doing that allows a player to put up a second defense line (by placing 2 troops on Pennsylvania and Washington respectively) as well as blocking or easily assaulting nearby bonus zones. Naturally, in a flat rate or escalating spoils game the importance of the possession of New England and/or the West and/or a region count advantage wears off after a few rounds. However, in a no spoils game, any one of these advantages tends to be the decisive factor in the vast majority of 2 player games. Under the right circumstances (taking into account the initial 14 neutral regions), it may be possible to go for and attempt to hold the Southeast or the Southwest (with three and four entry points respectively). Attempting this is usually a gamble, but if successful the zone bonus (+3 and +4 troops respectively) generally ensures victory. The remaining bonus zones (Great Lakes and Rockies) are rarely, due to their size and likely number of neutral regions, worth an effort in a 2 player game.
With the USA map being a rather simple, straight forward old school map - what works on Classic generally works on this map.
There is nothing particularly special to this map concerning no spoils, flat rate and nuclear games. Here, the map-specific points under the “Two Player” and “Team Games” sub-sections may be helpful in addition to the general strategy guides on these topics. With respect to escalating games, the only bonus zones one should attempt to hold in these games are New England and/or the West. In addition, with a good drop the Southeast and/or the Southwest are also a potential option. As usual, it may be sensible to spread out across the map in order to increase one’s reach (i.e. to have a launching pad for assaults in different areas of the map) once the spoils sets increase in value. Even though the USA map is a relatively open map, three bottleneck regions (N. Dakota / Minnesota, Kansas / Missouri and Arkansas / Mississippi) divide the eastern and the western parts of the map. By putting up a troop block on these regions, one may at least be able to make it more difficult for the opponents to reach and eliminate any other player. Also, using those regions as a starting-point, one has the opportunity to strike into either the eastern or the western part of the map. Only one true dead end region exists, namely New England (blocked by New York). A number of other semi-dead end regions exist where two regions seal off a single region, but overall the USA map is an open map. This makes the trapping of an opponent (or, for that matter, the protection of a team mate) somewhat difficult when the spoils sets increase in value. That the USA map is an open map is also evident from the fact that a number of regions have a good reach from which you can base an assault. Examples of such regions are Michigan (which borders Wisconsin, something that is not always evident from a quick glance at the map), Arkansas, Tennessee and Utah.
show: Team Games
With respect to the basic set-up: In 4 player doubles games, each player starts with 10 regions, in triples games, each player starts with 7 regions and in quadruples games, each player starts with 5 regions.
Considering the map size (42 regions), the best strategy in quadruples games is usually to target and attempt to eliminate one of the players in the opposing team (once done, one simply continues targeting the remaining opponents one by one). With respect to doubles or triples games, and irrespective of the spoils type, an early possession of the New England and/or the West bonus zones may be an important edge. New England should preferably be blocked at Ohio - from there the Great Lakes bonus zone is blocked and one can easily strike into the Southeast bonus zone. Consequently, with a troop block on Ohio, a team controls the eastern part of the map. The West should preferably be blocked at Idaho and Nevada (the two entry points makes this bonus zone slightly less advantageous than New England which merely has one entry point). With an Idaho / Nevada troop block in place, the Rockies bonus zone is blocked and one can easily strike into the Southeast bonus zone. Consequently, with this troop block, a team controls the eastern part of the map. Without a good initial troop drop, it is difficult to seize and hold both New England and the West. Rather, one may decide to go for either one of them while at the same time trying to ensure that the opposing team is unable to hold the other bonus zone. Having secured either New England or the West, a team has two basic strategies to choose from. The first choice would be to target one of the players in the opposing team (and once eliminated, continue targeting the remaining opponents one by one). The second choice would be to push the advantage by expanding out from the held bonus zone. Here, if a team manages to conquer one side of the map (either the eastern or the western part) and putting up troop blocks at Minnesota / N. Dakota, Kansas / Missouri and Arkansas / Mississippi (i.e. the three bottle neck regions dividing the eastern and the western part of the map), victory should be assured.
show: Additional Notes
There is nothing particularly special to this map concerning
assassin, terminator and fog of war games, the general strategy guides on these topics may be helpful. As a general note on the USA map’s bonus zones, one can note the following: Especially in no spoils games, the ratio between bonus troops and the number of defense points one has to keep in order to hold a bonus zone is a factor to be taken into account when planning one’s strategy. However, and especially with respect to bonus zones consisting of a large number of regions, other factors - such as the negative impact of conquering neutral regions (or regions held by a team mate) as well as the risk that an opponent is able to secure a region count advantage - must be taken into account. New England: +2 troop bonus, one entry point (i.e. 2 additional troops per tied down defense point). Great Lakes: +8 troop bonus, five entry points (i.e. 1.6 additional troops per tied down defense point). Rockies: +6 troop bonus, four entry points (i.e. 1.5 additional troops per tied down defense point). Southwest: +4 troop bonus, three entry points (i.e. 1.3 additional troops per tied down defense point). Southeast: +3 troop bonus, three entry points (i.e. 1 additional troops per tied down defense point). West: +2 troop bonus, two entry points (i.e. 1 additional troops per tied down defense point). Looking at the ratio between bonus troops and the number of defense points, one can conclude that the USA map is reasonably balanced bonus wise. The exception here is New England with the high 2 bonus troops/defense point ratio. Normally though, the decision which bonus zone to go for will depend on the drop and initial set-up; if it appears to be easier to secure and hold the West rather than New England, this is preferable rather than foolishly going for New England. It is rarely, at least initially, feasible to successfully go for the Great Lakes, Rockies, Southeast or Southwest bonus zones due to their size. Other related strategy guides